Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Car 54 Where Are You?' (The Complete First Season)
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“Car 54 Where Are You?” (The Complete First Season)
“There’s a hold up in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights/ There’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights/ There’s a scout troop short a child, Khruschev’s due at Idlewild! Car 54 where are you?”
That theme song to the short-lived but beloved sitcom – whose first season is due out on DVD for the first time on Tuesday – should now be ringing in the collective heads of baby boomers who were glued to their TV sets in the early ’60s.
“Car 54 Where Are You?” was hailed by critic Leonard Maltin as “one of the funniest television series of all time.”
The show, which ran from 1961-63, starred Joe E. Ross as Gunther Toody and Fred Gwynne as Francis Muldoon, two loveably inept cops who patrolled the Bronx’s 53rd precinct. Francis was the long-suffering, pragmatic partner who inevitably had to rein in Gunther’s nutty schemes and patiently endure his partner’s constant, nonsensical prattle.
The beautifully cast ensemble included Beatrice Pons as Gunther’s domineering wife, Al Lewis as the mugging Officer Schnauser, Charlotte Rae as Schnauser’s hot-tempered wife and Paul Reed as the constantly exasperated Capt. Block.
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